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Alternative certification system for supply chain sustainability: how stakeholder alignment affects institutionalization

Chia-Yi Liu (Food Industry and Business Management Group, Department of Food Science, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 31 January 2023

Issue publication date: 16 March 2023




This study expands the isomorphic logic on the participatory guarantee system (PGS) alternative certification method, which aims to level the supply chain sustainability field to determine how the alignment of disadvantaged agrifood stakeholders (e.g. small/applicant farmers, local organizations, consumers and volunteer auditors) might neutralize the negative effects of stakeholder heterogeneity (SH) on PGS recognition.


The sample comprised 113 multilateral matching questionnaires collected from disadvantaged agrifood stakeholders participating in the PGS activities of the Green Conservation Label managed by Taiwan's Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation (TOAF). This study adopted hierarchical regression to test the hypotheses.


Stakeholder alignment, external community (EC) constructs, similar backgrounds (SBs) and value congruence (VC) diminish the negative effects of SH on PGS recognition.

Social implications

PGS is an agrifood supply chain social movement designed to allow underprivileged actors to enact solutions collectively to address social inequities and ecological problems through fair procedures, collective assignments and collaborative intentionality. PGS members who leverage VC, SB and EC will have a greater chance of successfully overcoming their institutional disadvantages.


Based on the PGS activities initiated by disadvantaged agrifood stakeholders, this study transformed isomorphic logics, including coercive, mimetic and normative isomorphisms, into a mechanism with which individuals can build a governance structure that helps disadvantaged agrifood stakeholders develop alternative institutions by pooling their resources.



The author would like to express sincere appreciation to journal reviewers for their insightful comments on an early version of this paper. In addition, the author also thank the TMST (Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology) for funding this project [MOST 109-2410-H-029 -027 -SS2].


Liu, C.-Y. (2023), "Alternative certification system for supply chain sustainability: how stakeholder alignment affects institutionalization", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 115-132.



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